Monday, April 30, 2007

Cherry Blossoms @ The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

We went to the annual Sakura Matsuri or Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens yesterday with our friends John and Dawn. And you know what? It was so crowded I could barely stand it. No place to even sit and enjoy the fleeting flowers.

Afterwards we tried this new Cuban restaurant on Smith Street that was as dissapointing as the festival.

Weird, but the whole day was like that: overcast, slightly dissapointing. A downer day all around.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

PEN World Voices: DeLillo, Desai, Gordimer, Rushdie and Martin

Last night Rod and I went to the PEN World Voices town meeting on “Writing Home”.

Tons of fabulous authors—some I’ve been a fan of for years, others I was vaguely familiar with, and others I’d never heard of before.


Steve Martin, who read from his soon-to-be-published memoir;

Pia Tafdrup, who read from her poems in both her native Danish and in English;

Don DeLillo, who read from his new book, Falling Man;

Tatyana Tolstaya, a Russian writer who read from her book The Slynx about an abandoned Moscow, set sometime in the near future;

Saadi Youssef, the Iraqi poet;

Kiran Desai, who read a little from her famous The Inheritance of Loss;

Alain Mabanckou, a poet from the Congo who read his poems in French...a friend read the English translation;

Neil Gaiman, of Sandman fame, who read from American Gods;

Nadine Gordimer, who read a little from her short story “The Ultimate Safari”;


Salman Rushdie, who read an excerpt from Shalimar The Clown.

The funniest part of the whole thing was when Desai, after stumblin a bit over her own words, said "I drank too much before getting onstage," before resuming the reading. All said in a rather prim Indian accent,

All told, I walked away feeling energized and excited and so happy I’m a writer, so grateful to be a part of this world of literature.

Cheesy to be sure. But: it’s a good life.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Surprise, Surprise: Breast Cancer & Binge Drinking

So as part of my real-life job I scan the newswires for health stories. And I came across one about breast cancer risk & binge drinking that will appear in the new European Journal of Public Health when it come out, recapped here on the BBC that surprises even me.

I mean, it's not like I don't know that binge drinking is dangerous for you--but breast cancer? But there you go. And the study looks at over 17,000 nurses, so this is no sham study of a couple dozen college kids.

Bottom line? Science is telling us that one glass of red wine a day is good for our hearts, while excessive drinking may up our chances of breast cancer.

As if I haven't been getting the message from every part of my life lately. That the real secret to happiness and health is the goldilicks principle: not too big, not too small.

Balance over indulgence and abstinence.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another Reason Why Miranda July Is The Coolest Writer-Chick In The World

Her promo site for No One Belongs Here More Than You has to be one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Make sure you scroll through the whole site.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

I don't feel so bad about the women in Vogue after seeing this


Long Time Gone

I know. I know. I haven't updated this site in forever.

So much has happened and yet at the same time nothing really has happened.

I've just--well. Been silent. Which has been weird but not entirely bad. Sort of a regrouping time.

On Tuesday night I went to my first seder. (Which is weird, since Rod is Jewish and we've been together for nine years.) It was at a kosher Japanese steakhouse on the upper east side. Started at 9; two hour service, then we ate, then more service, until we finally left at 1 am. It was really intense. Rod and his sister said that they'd never been to a seder that long before, but his Dad's wife is orthodox and so we ended up there. Fascinating for the first two hours, but after that I got way tired and sort of wanted to go home.

Tomorrow morning we're leaving for Charlottesville to celebrate Easter with my family. Should be fun. Especially since my Mom has been having a hard time of it lately, so it'll be good to spend some time with her.

Other than that: I'm working on a new short story, Story B, about a TV writer named Bryan. We'll see how that goes.